Japan is the land of the bento, or the packed lunch as it was referred to when I was a kid. In those days my lunches contained a staple of sandwiches and a bit of fruit. Perhaps even a biscuit of some description if I was lucky. The Japanese bento on the other hand is far more exotic beast. Often more akin to a work of art than something to eat.
But to conjure up something as elaborate as the above picture takes time, and presumably a considerable amount of skill. So if like me you definitely lack the latter, and quite often the former, there is thankfully a saviour at hand. The trusty bowl of instant ramen.
Yet don’t for a second think it’s a poor second choice. Well, actually it is, but considering the vast array of options available, it’s fairly easy to convince yourself otherwise. Just look, this is merely a small selection that can be found in my local supermarket.
Pour in some hot water, wait 3 minutes or so, and you are all done. Now that’s my kind of cooking!